Amsterdam Centre for the Study of the Golden Age

The True and the False Formosa

Golden Age Colloquium by prof. dr. Michael Keevak (Department of Foreign Languages, National Taiwan University)

08Nov2016 15:30 - 17:00


The lecture will be a brief overview of the life and career of George Psalmanazar, the man who came to England in 1703 pretending to be a native of Formosa (modern Taiwan).

We will compare his vision of the country to "eyewitness" illustrations of Formosan natives published in Olfert Dapper's Gedenkwaerdig bedryf der Nederlandsche Oost-Indische maetschappye, op de kuste en in het keizerrijk van Taising of Sina (1670) as well as in other places. This will also lead to a related question of how, during the course of the eighteenth century, all East Asians became lumped together into a new racial category called the "Mongolian." 


Michael Keevak is a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at National Taiwan University.  His most recent book is Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking (Princeton, 2011).  A new book, Embassies to China:  Diplomacy and Cultural Encounters Before the Opium Wars, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017.

Location: Bushuis (Oost-Indisch Huis), VOC-zaal

  • Bushuis/Oost-Indisch Huis

    Kloveniersburgwal 48 | 1012 CX Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 2258

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